Adjustment of Status

For many individuals and families, living in the United States on a U or T visa can be a great option for a time. Since these types of visas are temporary in nature, however, holders often have to worry about whether or not they will be allowed to stay every time they apply for an extension. Whenever possible, with the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney, it is best to seek an adjustment of status to become either a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) or seek full citizenship.

Moving from a U or T visa holder status to a more permanent solution can be an important step in your life, so it is important to ensure everything goes smoothly. The following are some of the key things you need to keep in mind throughout the process to avoid problems and achieve your goals.

When to File for Adjustment of Status

The first, and likely most important, thing that you need to know is that for holders of either the U or T visa must qualify for a green card, just like you did when you qualified for the visa. You must be in the United States continuously for at least three years while holding the U or T visa. This is why it is important that once you obtain your U or T visa, you do not travel outside of the country for any reason.

Once you have hit the three year point, you can file for an adjustment of status as long as you meet the other requirements, which are described below. One key thing to remember is that you must have authorization to travel outside of the US while you’re on your visa. Certain visas – like the U visa – do not have this option. If you just travel outside of the US even for a short period of time, you risk losing your visa and any waivers of inadmissibility or deportability you worked so hard to earn.

Additional Requirements for an Adjustment of Status

Beyond the requirement to be in the country for at least three years, you also need to meet certain other obligations. For the T visa holder, for example, you must show that you have a “good moral character” which typically means you have not gotten in any trouble with law enforcement. U visa holders must additionally have cooperated to the best of their ability with the law enforcement agency that was investigating the criminal activity that allowed them to qualify for the visa in the first place.

While seeking an adjustment of status is an important step toward obtaining permanent residence in the United States, it can be difficult to ensure everything goes right. This is why it is critical to seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney to help you along the way. If you feel you need any type of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Swenson Law Office, PC

5161 E. Arapahoe Rd., Suite 120